The COVID-19 pandemic has posed significant difficulties for organizations, leading many to switch to flexible or remote work schedules. This change has proven especially challenging for managers who thrive on face-to-face interactions. Working from home has its drawbacks, but it also has many advantages, including convenience and increased output. Using different approaches, tools, and strategies, you can manage a team remotely.
1. Set Clear Expectations
As a remote manager, setting appropriate expectations for your staff is crucial. This requires setting individual and group objectives, timelines, and roles. Using project management tools can help your group stay focused, help you set clear goals, track progress, and assign tasks. Examples of project management tools include:
- Asana: Software accessible via web and mobile devices that helps distant managers and teams plan and execute projects, delegate responsibilities, and monitor development in real time. Asana has features including due dates, task dependencies, file attachments, comments, and remarks. It can also link to Google Drive, Slack, and Zoom;
- Trello: A web-based task management solution that employs boards, lists, and cards to enable remote teams to monitor and prioritize activities. Trello allows remote managers and teams to establish boards for multiple projects, add lists for different stages of a project, and generate cards for individual tasks. This also has features like checklists, due dates, and comments;
- Jira: An Internet-based application for managing and releasing software projects by distributed teams. Jira is an agile software development, project management, and issue-tracking platform. Confluence, Bitbucket, and Slack are also supported.
The above-mentioned tools provide real-time collaboration, deadline setting, timely notifications, and maintain constant communication with your staff. Alternatively, you might utilize a video conferencing program such as:
- Zoom: A Web-based video conferencing service enabling remote teams to hold webinars and conference calls. You may use Zoom to do things like share your screen, provide a virtual backdrop, have a conversation, or even record yourself. It’s compatible with Dropbox, Outlook, and Google Drive;
- Microsoft Teams: It’s online meeting and conferencing software that facilitates communication and collaboration among dispersed teams in real time. Instant chat, video conferencing, file sharing, and project management are just some of the capabilities that Teams provides. It also integrates with other tools such as Office 365, SharePoint, and Power BI.
2. Communicate Effectively
Remote teams need good communication to succeed. As a remote manager, you must intentionally communicate and keep everyone informed. This means using clear and concise language, asking questions to clarify understanding, and providing regular feedback. To communicate and stay connected with your team throughout the day effectively, you can use tools like:
- Slack: Cloud-based IM, video calling, and file-sharing platform ideal for distributed teams. Slack’s features include group chat rooms, private messaging, app and file sharing, and more. It also provides the means for users to design and implement their own automated processes, complete with bots;
- Discord: Remote teams, especially those in the gaming and creative sectors, frequently use Discord as a means of communication. This facilitates telephonic and videoconferencing communication for distributed teams. Sharing your screen, sending and receiving files, and adjusting your notifications are all possible with this. It also supports integration with third-party apps and bots, and users may make their own emojis and replies.
3. Foster a Positive Team Culture
Members of a team may experience feelings of alienation or loneliness when working remotely. Remote manager must facilitate collaboration, creativity, and a welcoming atmosphere. To do this, it is necessary to facilitate times when employees can socialize, exchange ideas, and recognize one another’s contributions. Positive team dynamics can be promoted through ad hoc virtual coffee chats and other social gatherings, such tools as:
- Donut: Helps remote teams get to know each other better by pairing up team members for virtual coffee chats, lunches, or happy hours. Donut creates random pairs based on shared interests or goals and allows members to schedule a time to connect. With Donut, remote managers can help break down silos and foster a more collaborative and connected work culture;
- Watercooler: A virtual office is like a computer program that helps remote team members work together as if they were in the same place. It enables them to meet online, chat, and keep informed in real time. It works with lots of different programs.
4. Empower Your Team
Leading a successful team requires equipping them. That means giving them room to grow professionally, both in terms of training and development opportunities and in terms of decision-making and ownership of their work. To give your team a leg up, use resources like:
Both Udemy and Coursera are effective tools for remote managers and employees to access training and development resources. The right tool relies on your team’s needs and preferences. Udemy is more focused on individual courses and personal development, while Coursera is more focused on university-level courses and degrees. Both tools have free and premium versions and are utilized by remote workers worldwide.
5. Focus on Results, Not Time Spent
Telecommuting provides team members with greater schedule freedom. As a remote manager, you should place more value on output than input when evaluating team performance. The easiest way to do this is to give members clear goals and expectations and let them choose how to work. In order to focus on outcomes, it’s important to keep tabs on output and measure development against objectives. Managers can use tools such as:
- RescueTime: Remote managers and teams can benefit from a time-tracking tool that keeps tabs on how much time is being spent on various tasks and programs. It has functions like timekeeping with no user input required, productivity ratings, and extensive reporting. Managers working from a distance can use RescueTime to track their time, create targets, and organize their priorities. Tools like Trello, Asana, and Google Calendar may all be synced with RescueTime;
- Toggl: An online timekeeping service that helps employees monitor how much time is being spent on each project. Quick timers, billable rates, and comprehensive reports are just some of the benefits of using Toggl. Using this tool, remote managers may monitor their teams’ productivity and keep tabs on billable hours spent on individual projects and activities. Toggl is compatible with other applications, too, such as Asana, Trello, and Slack.
6. Prioritize Self-Care
Prioritizing self-care is important for remote managers to avoid burnout and stress. It’s essential that you encourage healthy habits in your workforce. To prioritize self-care and track your physical activity and set fitness goals, you can use tools like:
- Headspace: Use this meditation and mindfulness software to get some shut-eye, calm down, and relax. Using this, remote managers and teams can enhance their mental health and well-being through the application’s guided meditations and other mindfulness and stress-reduction practices. You can use Headspace to get suggestions tailored to your needs, keep tabs on your development, and set medication reminders;
- Fitbit: Wearable device and app that tracks heart rate, sleep, and activity. Fitbit allows remote managers and teams to monitor their health and wellness by tracking their daily steps, calories burned, and active minutes. Fitbit offers features such as goal setting, progress tracking, and personalized insights;
- MyFitnessPal: An app that tracks calories and other nutrients to help remote managers and teams make better food and lifestyle decisions. It’s a convenient way for distributed teams and supervisors to log food intake, scan barcodes, and keep tabs on macronutrient intake. With MyFitnessPal, you can establish objectives, monitor your development, and get tailored suggestions.
Management of remote teams calls for a unique set of abilities and approaches distinct from those needed to lead a team in a conventional office. To be successful as a remote manager, you must focus on results while also prioritizing self-care, open communication, creating a positive team culture, giving your employees a lot of autonomy, and setting clear expectations. You can expedite your management process and guide your team to success by making use of internet resources and tried and true principles. Yet, as remote work develops and shifts, it’s crucial to be versatile and open to change.
The capacity of remote manager to create an atmosphere of openness, honesty, and cooperation among their staff members is crucial to the success of any remote operation. Managers working at a distance can build a successful, results-oriented team from scratch by following these guidelines and making use of the appropriate technology.